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This page is a joint project of the Greater Kansas City Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility and Nuclear Watch New Mexico.
The Kansas City Plant (KCP) for Nuclear Weapons Components
Background on KCP and the Nuclear Weapons Complex
(more at Kansas City NNSA/Honeywell Watch )
Under the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2010 the President has provided Congress the classified Section 1251 Report as a plan to modernize the Nuclear Weapons Complex. This is the first year this report has been required. In November the Administration already released their second version of the plan, which increased the estimates over the original May version to an average of $8.6B per year for the next 10 years. This is in contrast to the previous 20-year average of $6.2B and the $5.1B average during the Cold War weapons build up.
Much of this escalating funding will be used for “modernization” of the nuclear weapons complex. This means new multi-billion dollar facilities to support the production of plutonium pit primaries or “triggers” at Los Alamos, NM, and thermonuclear uranium “secondaries” at Oak Ridge, TN. But these nuclear components can only become deliverable weapons of mass destruction when combined with the thousands of nonnuclear components that the Kansas City Plant (KCP) produces or procures (e.g, radars, fuzes, parachutes, guidance systems, etc.). In all, KCP is responsible for 85% of all nuclear weapons components, and makes thousands of shipments each year to other NNSA sites for final assembly of nuclear weapons.
The Kansas City government has subsidized this new federal nuclear weapons production plant with $815 million in municipal bonds outside of NNSA’s annual budget. The new plant’s selected 180-acre site was mostly used for soybean farming. However, the Kansas City government declared that area “blighted” so that it could use bond authority under Missouri state law designed to fight urban blight to give NNSA a new bomb plant. Taxpayers will pay an estimated $4.5 billion over 20 years to lease and operate the new Kansas City Plant, which the City will own until private developers pay the bonds back through a lease-to-purchase scheme backed up by a virtually certain revenue stream from the federal government.
Meanwhile, previously unreported worker health concerns at the old Plant are growing increasingly controversial, to the point where both Missouri senators have called for federal investigations. In the past, the federal government has vaguely talked about selling the federal complex that sites the old Plant to private interests “as is” so that badly needed local economic development can take place.However, there are no comprehensive plans for cleanup of groundwater contaminated with PCBs and industrial solvents, and it’s not even clear what federal agency will be responsible for managing and paying for cleanup (estimated at greater than $200 million) once NNSA leaves for its shiny new bomb plant.
The Role of KCP in the Nuclear Weapons Complex - August 2010
Documents Relating to Development of New KCP
Development Agreement Between Kansas City and Centerpoint Zimmer - February 16, 2010
Centerpoint Zimmer Project Proposal - June 5 2009
Suit Challenges Legality of Proposed Kansas City Nuclear Weapons Plant
Joint Press Release: Natural Resources Defense Council, Physicians for Social Responsibility,
Complaint filed in U. S. District Court, Washington DC [1.7MB] -Ocober 8, 2008
Fact sheet on cleanup at the existing site [844KB] -October 13, 2008
Citizen Activism Results in a Two-Week Delay on Consideration of Tax Incentives for Nuclear Weapons Plant
hosted by:Nuclear Watch of New Mexico
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